Anti-royal sentiments pepper online comments about William and Kate's visit

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TORONTO - Prince William and Kate have been drawing massive, adoring crowds to their royal tour appearances so far, but not everyone in Canada is feeling the love.

Anti-royal sentiments — from mild annoyance to out-and-out vitriol — are emerging online, peppering the still overwhelmingly positive comments with snark.

"For you Monarch lovers, they don't care about you nor do they do anything to improve your livelihood," a user called eurostudstandard wrote in response to a news report posted on the CBC's website.

"I'm Canadian and I choose democracy and liberty, not Monarchy, so why do I have to spend my hard-earned money to accommodate two couples of complete insignificance to me and my country?"

Most of the negative online comments expressed resentment at the money being spent on the royal visit. Heritage Canada is spending $1.2 million on the tour, not including security costs.

"Waste of taxpayers' money on both sides of the pond," wrote Internet commenter XYZ. "Are these 2 folks that poor that they can't pay for their vacation? if you can't afford it, stay where you are!"

A recent Harris-Decima poll for The Canadian Press found high levels of awareness that the royal tour was about to begin, but 67 per cent of respondents said they would not follow the visit closely.

It's hard to gauge Canada's true love-hate ratio when it comes to the Royal Family, but the handful of protesters who showed up Friday to complain about the fact new Canadians are required to pledge allegiance to the Queen were badly outnumbered by throngs of well-wishers.

While they were waiting for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to arrive, supporters drowned out the protesters with impromptu renditions of "O Canada" and "God Save the Queen."

The ranks of the dissenters are expected to swell this weekend, however, when the tour moves to Quebec, where support for the monarchy is significantly lower than it is elsewhere in Canada.

Online, the negative sentiment ranges from mild annoyance — moaning about traffic disruptions, for instance — to outright malevolence. A few commenters mocked William's hairline, suggested he was the product of inbreeding and wished the couple had not survived their plane trip to Canada.

For the most part, those not enthralled with William and Kate's visit merely expressed their desire to tune out all royal coverage until the couple leaves on July 8, or took issue with the institution of the monarchy itself.

"Is this really important in the Canadian fabric? If so what is the benefit to Canadians?" wrote one Twitter user.

"Continuing to support the monarchy is a blatant insult to the ideals of human equality that Canada has always tried desperately to espouse," user alamogordo wrote in response to a news article.

Others postings online suggested it was an insult to have the royal couple involved in celebrations for Canada's independence.

"I think it is very disrespectful that they decided to visit (interfere) on Canada Day," NorthernThunder posted.

Even some of the positive comments praising Kate's appearance, took on a negative tone.

"If Kate wasn't a model-hot vixen, with the 'girl next door' look the crowds would shrink by (approximately) 75 per cent," user Evrett wrote online.

"Does anyone really think a prematurely balding guy like William would stand a chance with a gal like her if he wasn't rich and a 'prince'??"

Many royal supporters jumped into the fray online, rushing to the defence of the monarchy and spurring heated arguments.

Others, like one person commenting on a news story under the handle "follkiestandard," chose to rise above it all and take a more philosophical approach.

"Would that it was the worst of our problems," they wrote.

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